Hawaii Kai Farmer's Market closes

Published On: Mar 08 2014 12:10:38 PM HST   Updated On: Mar 08 2014 09:44:07 PM HST

Out of control growth of the Hawaii Kai Farmer's Market - led to the local venue being shut down.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes story.

Every weekend for the past four years - the Hawaii Kai Farmer's Market drew a crowd hungry for local products like island-grown fruits and produce.

"They are all grown in Hawaii, so it is much fresher and tastes better," said Hawaii Kai resident Petra Bergmann.

In 2013, the Saturday morning market moved to KoKohead Elementary School - along Kalanianaole Highway.  It was a move to a much more visible location.

"Those who found us fell in love with us and wanted to support our local farmers," said market owner Annie Suite.

It turned out the Farmer's Market was loved too much, which led to problems, like traffic that would back up and parking that would quickly fill up. Those problems led to numerous neighborhood complaints.

Suite said they can't move because there are no alternative locations available.

"It takes a lot of space to put on a farmers market, you have a huge footprint and you also have to have parking," said Suite.

The decision to close saddened some shoppers as they filled up their produce bags one last time.

"We know all the farmers here. They become part of the community. It is really sad. It is disappearing," said Hawaii Kai resident Dong Ping Zheng.

The vendors will move to other markets around Oahu, but some will feel this impact -- more than just financially.

"You get to know your customers. It is really intimate and face to face. You think about them all week longand you think as you make the bread, 'What would they like?' To not to see them anymore is kind of sad," said Moya Gray, of Moya's Bake Shop.

Some shoppers wondered where they will now go. There are other farmers markets in Hawaii Kai, held on different days and times, but they haven't connected with the community quite like this one.


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